12.20.2011

Christmas: Memories + Favorites

Yesterday, I turned twenty and a half.
Yeah, I know I'm getting up there!

In the midst of going Christmas shopping with my sister on Monday night, I started to feel a little more excited about Christmas. But I am still not super excited. I was telling my friend yesterday that I still wasn't feeling super Christmas-y yet. I think it's because I'm working really long days this week, but at least I have no school!

 So...to get me into a more Christmas-y mood,
here's twenty and a half things I love and memories I have about Christmas:

{age 2}

1.We used to get real trees up until I was about 8 or 9. I loved going to pick out the perfect tree, coming home and laying on our old tree skirt (a blanket from Mexico) with our old dog, Wattson, and looking up at the lit up tree, taking in the fresh pine smell. That is the best smell in the world to me, along with cinammon and baking cookies...all holiday scents!

2. I have always loved getting out the Christmas lights and plugging them in and checking each of the lightbulbs. Weird fact: When I was younger (between 5 and 7), I couldn't stand the smell of Christmas lights. I am sure you think I'm nuts, but there was a distinctive smell...and something about it that made me gag. I guess those were maybe more primitive times before they made lights...smell better...and more eco-friendly, etc. Or I'm just crazy. Yep.


{Temple Square, 2010}

3. One of my most memorable Christmases was the year Hope was born. I was in Kindergarten and I asked for a baby doll and Cinderella on VHS. I named my baby doll Nellie after my grandma who had passed away the night before Hope was born and I watched that Cinderella VHS more times than I could count at that very young age, but I remember being more happy on Christmas morning when I was holding my beautiful baby sister. I was so happy that I finally had a sister after wishing and praying for siblings for as long as I could remember.

4. When I was 9, we got Monopoly. I thought I was really cool, because my parents let me stay up to play it with them. Little did I know that it was a game that could take hours at a time to play and half-way through the game (meaning 2 hours later), I had to mortgage something and I was so upset that I started crying. Then, I stormed off to bed (which was for the best). Younger Kids + Grown Up Monopoly just does not work.
5. When I was 11, we got an air hockey table and DVD player (when they were first coming out). I remember watching Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again while my dad and I would have air hockey tournaments where we would have to play to 100 points, but there were a bunch of ridiculous rules I made up for it like how you could actually score a point. My dad has always been such a good sport.

{christmas dance, 2008. dang we look so young!!}

6. Remember this little charmer of a CTR ring? I wanted one so bad for Christmas when I was 8. I remember opening everything else and being a little disappointed that I did not have my CTR ring. Then I started to go through my stocking and I saw a little silver ring tied onto the loop at the top of my stocking. I was so excited and I loved that it was red and sparkly. It was a little big at first, but I grew into it and I have worn it ever since then...in fact, when I don't wear it, I freak out a bit. Instead of a security blanket, I have a security ring. Don't judge.

7. On Christmas Eve, we have a huge family dinner and party with my mom's entire side of the family. It is one of the best days of the year as far as I'm concerned. I love being with them and talking to them. I have such wonderful memories of going to my Great Grandma Jane's little house and now going to my Aunt Diane's, my grandparents, or my Aunt Susan's houses on Christmas Eve. After dinner, we all sing Christmas songs (complete with Diane's Rudolph puppet) and then as we start to sing, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", Santa comes to visit us and bring us all our gifts (mainly gifts from cousin to cousin and our pajamas). When I was younger, I always felt like it took forever until I could unwrap my new pajamas and hurry to change into them.

8. Before that Christmas Eve party, our family always takes self timer pictures in front of our tree and fireplace. It's always a rush to see if Dad can run from where the camera is sitting in time to be in the picture.


9. After that Christmas Eve party, we come home and read the accounts of the Savior's birth in Luke 2 and 3 Nephi 1. Love those quiet moments of reflecting about this special story and our Savior. 

10. We usually leave Santa some oreos for Christmas. So rebellious from the traditional chocolate chip cookies, right? And sometimes, we would even leave cookies for "Ozzie the Elf" who would write us letters from the North Pole.

11. One of our dear family friends would leave us these really cute Christmas decorations every year. Ones that sang and talked and lit up. I love putting these out every year and being reminded of this dear lady. My favorite is the Snowman with these little fiberoptic lights covering it. It looks furry, but when you plug it in, it lights right up and begins changing colors. I honestly have sat on my couch for hours just watching it change colors. It's so relaxing.
 
12. Watching "White Christmas" over and over and over again. This movie is timeless. I love it so much!



13. Growing up, we always knew that Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song" is honestly the best version out there. Every year, we have listened to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Elvis, Mariah Carey, and more recently, Michael Buble. I always loved being in choir when I was in high school and being in the Christmas concerts. We always sang such beautiful songs. Christmas music is just the best!!

14. On Christmas Day, we go to my mom's parent's house to eat a late breakfast and exchange presents. Later in the afternoon, we go to my dad's parent's house for dinner and then exchange presents. It is always fun to be able to be with both families on Christmas.

15. The last two years, I loved getting together with the Fab Five after finishing the fall semesters of freshman and sophomore year. We would eat treats and have a sleepover. I loved catching up with them and being able to give each other thoughtful gifts. I miss them this year!

16. I love going Christmas shopping for my family. My only problem is that I want to give my gifts to them right this very minute! I love putting thought into what I'm getting them and I love seeing them open their gifts on Christmas. The saying "Giving is better than receiving" certainly rings true.

{Taken last week at Little America}

17. Places I love to go at Christmas time: Little America, Temple Square, Bountiful Temple (you can see a sea of Christmas lights from that view...love it!), Macy's (or any department store), Modern Display (a store that is brimming with the greatest Christmas decorations), and the neighborhoods in my little city to see all of the lights!

18. When I was younger, my bedroom was at the end of the hall and I loved falling asleep looking down the hall at our big beautiful Christmas tree. Now my room is in the basement, so naturally we have a tree down there now for me.

{classic ugly christmas sweater parties. julia and i at the psi christmas sweater party 2010}

19. Hope and Thomas had a preschool teacher that would make "reindeer food" for them to put out on the snow on Christmas Eve. We would always throw it on the snow and on Christmas morning, we would find reindeer prints and Santa's sleigh tracks in the snow! I still honestly don't know to this day how that happened. All I can say is Santa and Rudolph are the real deal!
20. There was a year where I wasn't really buying the whole Santa thing. My friends had told me that he wasn't real and I was feeling so sad, because I wanted so badly to believe in him! I told my mom that if Santa was real, it would have to snow on Christmas. Then to really make sure he was real, I printed out a picture of Santa and left it for him to autograph. I remember going to bed that Christmas Eve, feeling so disappointed and thinking that my plan would prove that Santa wasn't real. But in the morning, I woke up to 6 inches of snow outside, Santa had autographed his picture, and he even left me a note! There has never been a doubt in my mind about Santa Claus since that Christmas morning! ;)

20.5. My favorite thing about Christmas this year was....

{our tree, 2009}

Guess you're just going to have to live in suspense for just a little while!!!

I honestly could keep writing tons of things that I love about Christmas.
I think I'm feeling more excited now after writing all of this!

What are some of your favorite things about Christmas?
Any great memories?
What helps you get into a Christmas-y mood?

PS: Enter Rachel's giveaway HERE and Steph's giveaway HERE.
Both of them are doing great giveaways and ones you don't want to miss!! :)

3 comments:

  1. I totally remember #19! My mom & dad showed me the reindeer/sleigh tracks on your roof and I was absolutely FLOORED (mind you, I was probably 11 years old and hadn't believed in Santa in about 4 years)!
    I also remember sending Santa our Christmas list via email (back when email was still "electronic mail" and super exciting). Your parents showed my parents so we did our list together--you probably don't remember that but we were sitting at my kitchen table and it. was. awesome.

    I love your list!

    P.S. I seriously thought that baby picture of you was Thomas. I was like "why does she have a picture of Thomas wearing a dress?". Craziness. But remember, he was about that small the last time I saw him, so don't judge ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kate!!! I just loved reading that comment! I totally remember doing our list together and sending it via email. How funny!! And Thomas and I look so much alike...but he's the better looking one for sure! :) Hope's friend was looking at our baby pictures and she thought I was Thomas and Thomas was me. I miss you and hope you are doing well! Congrats on the new home! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can totally relate about the smell of christmas lights. My mom got a new set this year and in my opinion they can sure stink up a room.

    So, cheers to being weird :)
    cute post.

    -Katie
    http://according2katie.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

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